which developer for bit by bit use over time....

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by sperera, May 23, 2009.

  1. sperera

    sperera Member

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    what i mean is which developer can i get that i dont have to use up within a short time and I dont have to mix all up once i open the package....I would have thought the powder ones would be the easiest to live with.....so which do you think is best option.....
    e.g. i bought some Perceptol.....I have to mix it all up once open....one would have thought there's a powder developer or whatever you can buy a lod of and mix up over 2 years even.....
     
  2. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Afternoon, Sperera,

    My own darkroom work is intermittent, so I understand your situation. My preference is to mix directly from a liquid concentrate for each session. I use both HC-110 and T-Max Developer and am very satisfied with each. Both concentrates keep extremely well, and I can avoid storing a couple of large jugs of mixed developer. It's almost certainly possible to save a bit of money by using powdered developers, but the convenience of the liquid concentrates trumps that for me.

    Konical
     
  3. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Subscriber

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    Rodinal is another developer with good keeping properties. In fact, it is legendary for staying good for absurd amounts of time. Powders, in my experience, don't last nearly as long once mixed, and really need to be mixed a full batch at a time for best results, I would personally recommend HC-110 for faster films, or for grain control, and Rodinal for slower films, or where grain is not a concern.
     
  4. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    HC110 or Rodinal
     
  5. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Perceptol will only make 1 litre of stock solution which in most tanks is a max of 4 films used at stock strength and only 3 in some tanks. So even at 1+1 dilution which is a common dilution that's still only 6-8 films. Unless you are a very low volume user you are likely to get through 1 litre of Perceptol before it goes bad. I have found Perceptol in its stock solution to be good for 9 months which is 1 film per 6 weeks. A very low rate of usage.

    In fact if you shoot even a moderate amount of film, the main problem with Perceptol is its expense compared to some other developers and not its short life.

    In 35mm and with trad films ISO 400 films such as HP5+ then my experience is that few developers can match its ability to produce very fine grain.

    However if I was using ISO100/125 films in 35mm and unless I was producing prints in excess of 10x8 and was looking for value for money then Perceptol wouldn't be my first choice.

    pentaxuser
     
  6. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Ilford makes Ilfotec HC. I've never used it, but it's supposed to be like HC-110.
     
  7. kraker

    kraker Subscriber

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    Ilfotec HC was the first thing that came to mind when reading the initial post. Have used it, first litre of concentrate lasted over a year (easily), just started on another bottle.

    But honestly, all suggestions so far will do the job. I've also had more than a year of good results with 5 liters of Kodak Xtol, Ilford ID-11, Ilford Microphen, Agfa Rodinal, you name it... Well, the exception to the rule: Ilford Ilfosol 3. Didn't last more than a few months until it so dramatically changed colour that I didn't even attempt to use it.

    Anyway. Ilfotec HC comes highly recommended.
     
  8. drpsilver

    drpsilver Subscriber

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    23 May 2009

    I would recommend HC110, or Ilfotec HC. I have had good results keeping D76 stock in a full bottle for 6 months with no problems.

    Regards,
    Darwin
     
  9. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser

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    D23:
    • 1/2 teaspoon Metol
    • 1 tablespoon S. Sulfite
    • 250ml water
    just enough for one roll of 35mm.

    You can also mix up Kodak T-Max and T-Max RS developers on an as-needed basis.
     
  10. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    Many developers in liquid concentrates last a very long time. Rodinal, HC-110 and Ilfotec HC have already been mentioned. If you want to try staining developers, you can add PMK and Pyrocat to your list. I have kept PMK for (way) more than two years before the last little bit in the bottle went bad. I've not yet used Pyrocat, but it is available in a version mixed in glycol that should last for a very long time as well. Do a little searching on Pyrocat and you'll turn up lots of info.

    Best,

    Doremus Scudder
    www.DoremusScudder.com
     
  11. Lukas_87

    Lukas_87 Member

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    Rodinal?
    it is liquid, I know... but will last forever.
     
  12. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    The trouble with powder developers is if you try and split out powders into smaller parts you can't guarantee the ratios of chemistry will be the same in each part. (In fact, if the Corn Flakes rule applies also to powdered developer - the smaller particles will naturally separate out to the bottom of the pack - then you can probably guarantee that they won't be.)

    For part mixing liquid developers are the way to go. I'll second (third, fourth, fifth?) the vote for HC-110. I've more or less made it my 'standard developer' now for reasons of economy and keeping.
     
  13. sperera

    sperera Member

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    I'm getting confused with the terms "stock strength" and "stock solution you guys are using......

    for example, I have T-Max developer in its original 1 litre bottle and this is the spec. for it in the official Kodak pdf:

    STORAGE
    You can store working-strength solution in a full, tightly closed bottle for six months, in half-filled bottle for two months, or in a covered tank for one month. You can store the concentrate for up to two years.


    This is what I understand it to mean.....you can get the original one litre bottle of T-Max and mix it up to get a full 5 litres of mixed up developer (is this what you call 'working solution'???) and store it in a full, tightly closed bottle and use it over 6 months; and a half-filled one for 2 months etc

    "the concentrate for up to two years" - what do they mean by this???????.....it will store for up to 2 years if unopened in its original bottle

    OR like in my situation, I bought a 1 litre bottle in April 2009 and since then have used 400ml of it....I have 600ml left...so will this last up to two years cos its the original concentrate in its tightly capped original bottle = stock solution you guys speak of.....

    THAT IS THE QUESTION I AM ASKING IN EFFECT.....i'm not explaining myself very well perhaps.....WHAT DEVELOPER CAN I BUY THAT WILL KEEP IN ITS ORIGINAL BOTTLE WELL THAT CAN BE USED OVER TIME BIT BY BIT.....

    if T-Max can indeed be used bit by bit over 2 years then that sounds good to me....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2009
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  15. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser

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    The Kodak number is usually for an unopened bottle.

    I have used a bottle of T-Max developer slowly over a period of ~5 years with no problems.

    An alternative is to buy the stock chemicals for making developer as you need it. Sulfite, Carbonate, Borax and Bromide all last forever. Metol and Hydroquinone will last for more than 20 years if stored well.
     
  16. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Sperera, I routinely buy powder developers (like ID11) and divide it to prepare aliquots for one-shot development. Keeps forever. I mean, in a pinch I used some old kodak powder mix from 3+ decades ago, and it wasn't stored specially.

    Actually even trickier developers like wd2d+ seem to keep for ages when properly vacuum stoppered and kept in separate part A/ part B containers. Do you have some wine bottles and (inexpensive) vacuum sealers? Then you can keep a lot of liquid developers just about indefinitely.
     
  17. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Morninh, Sperera,

    Nicholas is right about the good keeping qualities of T-Max Developer concentrate. Unless I processed film on a very regular and frequent basis, I wouldn't even consider mixing a stock solution. It's much more practical to measure out an ounce or two or three of concentrate immediately prior to each processing session. Kodak recommends 1:4 dilution; I prefer 1:7 with somewhat longer developing times. Other users go with 1:9. As with any developer, a bit of testing on non-critical film is probably advisable.

    To get maximum life from the concentrate, just drop some glass marbles into the bottle each time you pour out liquid and be sure to cap the bottle tightly.

    Konical
     
  18. E76

    E76 Member

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    Diafine is two part developer that will keep for at least a year, and can be used over and over without replenishment; however, it has the disadvantage of not allowing for any change in development time, therefore making contrast control quite difficult.
     
  19. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Subscriber

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    It sounds like with the rate you are using it and the keeping properties of T-Max developer, that you are just fine with it, but I have not used T-Max much so I am not sure.

    Definitely Rodinal and HC-110 will do what you want. One thing to note, with both of these developers, you will use very small amounts of the concentrate so getting some sort of small syringe, the kind used for liquid medicines, would probably be best. Also, if you decide to check out HC-110, do not follow the instructions on the bottle which call for making a stock solution out of the concentrate and then diluting it further for your working solution. I recommend just making a working solution every time you develop. There is a web site with great information on HC-110 including correct dilutions and such here: http://www.covingtoninnovations.com/hc110/

    I think that T-Max will do what you want, but that you will likely get longer life span with the Rodinal and HC-110 if you need or want it.
     
  20. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    I'm on my second bottle of Rodinal in, oh, 15 years. The first bottle lasted about 10 years, I think. I like 1+100 semistand developing, so I only use a few mls at a time. I've never filled it with marbles or attempted to vacuum seal or anything. It turns very brown. It still works. Rodinal is reputed to have the longest shelf time - it runs into decades. I don't know if anyone has done decades long testing to see if HC110 or Tmax will keep as long.
     
  21. sperera

    sperera Member

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    could you explain how much time you ue for a 1:7 and 1:9 dilution....I normally cant go below 21 degrees so dev. times for that appreciated....also, whats this about the marbles!!!???

    By the way....this is the complete list of developers I can buy in Spain....I cant buy from anywhere else cos of the 'dangerous liquids' restrictions on posting them to Gibraltar.....I can buy powder form from UK too.....so....any comments on the list....

    from Spain:

    Paterson FX-39
    Argenti D-74
    Argenti HI-TECH
    Argenti ULTRA-ISO
    ARGENTI Weston Pyro
    Finol
    Rollei ATP DC
    Paterson ACULUX 3
    Argenti A-03 (like Microphen)
    Tetenal Neofin Blue
    A-49 revelador de grano ultra fino
    Rollei Print Retro (RPR)
    Tanol
    Tonal Plus
    Fomadon EXCEL
    RODINAL
    Fomadon R09
    Kodak D-76
    Kodak XTOL
    Kodak HC-110
    Rollei LOW CONTRAST
    Rollei HIGH CONTRAST
    Rollei High Speed
    Rollei Low Speed
    Gradonal 250ml
    ISO-PLENO
    Ethol UFG
    Diafine
    Acufine

    from UK:
    Ilford ID11 Developer Powder
    Ilford Microphen Developer Powder
     
  22. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Afternoon, Sperera,

    Generally, I use the T-Max Developer only for T-Max films. I don't recall the Kodak recommended times for 1:4, but my "normal" 1:7 times are 10 minutes for T-100 and 9 minutes for T-400, both at 68 degrees. When I need a little less or a little more contrast, I'll make "seat of the pants" adjustments (I don't have a densitometer). As is often stressed in these discussions, some experimentation is ordinarily a good idea to zero in on what's "normal" for your conditions.

    Konical
     
  23. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    sperera:

    This has been covered in various ways in the posts above, but just in case it needs further clarification...

    You need to differentiate between the original concentrate (or powder), the stock solution (if any) and the working solution.

    The instructions for commercially prepared developers take one of three forms:

    1) for some developers, the instructions recommend that you take the developer in the form that it comes from the store (either powder or liquid) and make a stock solution from it. Then, when you want to actually use the developer, you take that stock solution and dilute it to make a working solution. D-76 is one example of this type of developer (although you can use the stock undiluted). If you follow the instructions on the bottle of HC-110, it too is said to work this way, although many here prefer instead to take small amounts of the concentrate (~6-10 ml) and dilute it directly to working dilution just before use;

    2) for some developers (almost invariably liquid developers), the instructions recommend that you take the developer in the form that it comes from the store and, when you want to actually use the developer, you take it and dilute it to make a working solution. T-Max developer works this way;

    3) for some developers, the instructions require that you prepare two baths, and each different bath is used (and re-used) at full strength. Diafine works this way.

    FWIW, I use HC110 and I do frequently make up a stock solution, but not with the entire bottle of concentrate. I only do this because I have more confidence in my ability to measure 120ml (as compared to 6ml) accurately.

    Matt
     
  24. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    You can probably bring the temperature to below 21C if necessary. To do so, use a water bath -- use a container with water in it at about the target temperature (a bit lower if you're trying to get to something under room temperature or higher if you need to get to something above room temperature). You then place your chemicals, and perhaps your loaded film tank, in the water. This brings the temperature of the developer to the desired temperature. For reducing temperature, you'd use a water bath that consists of a mixture of chilled water (from a refrigerator) and tap water.

    That said, 21C is not far from the usual 20C temperature -- and some times are given at slightly higher temperatures, too (about 24C, IIRC). There are tables and charts to help you adjust time for any given temperature; however, the details vary with each film/developer combination, so a "generic" table or chart can mislead as easily as it can help.

    Some people add marbles to developer containers to displace air as the developer is used. Developers go bad, in part, because they react with oxygen in the air, so minimizing the amount of air in a developer bottle will extend its life. Some concentrates, such as Rodinal and HC-110, are said to last a very long time without such measures, but others have much shorter life spans. Not everybody uses this trick, though; some use other tricks (such as using multiple small bottles rather than one big one, injecting an inert gas into the bottle, or using a vacuum pump to remove oxygen from the bottle), and some people just don't bother.
     
  25. Stew

    Stew Member

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    Hi,
    Mix your developers from scratch. I've found this the cheapest and easiest way to make small quantities.
    It's easy and it's fun !
     
  26. wogster

    wogster Member

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    It's cheap and easy if you have all the equipment needed already, but have you priced scales and the such lately, yikes. I can buy enough HC110 to do me for the rest of my life, for the price of even a cheaper lab scale ($200 or so), that will be accurate enough for the tiny amounts needed, especially in this country. There is also the issue of not everybody wants to waste half their photography time playing chemist.